ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mountain West soccer coaches believe Heather Dyche and her Lobo women’s team will run it back on top of the standings in 2021. The Lobos received 9 of 12 first-place votes in the Mountain West Preseason Women’s Soccer Poll Wednesday.
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San Diego State University was picked to finish second in the conference with three first-place votes. Air Force was picked last. “All we ever really focus on is us and we focus on how well we can play,” said University of New Mexico Head Coach Heather Dyche. “I think, that’s when we’ve been the underdog, that’s when we’re the favorite and that’s the way we’ll keep going. It’s nice to have a target on your back, but you just have to make sure it’s a moving target, no one can hit you.”
The Lobos got the nod for number one despite losing two of their top scorers from last season. The Lobos will not be able to sneak up on any teams this season. “I think it’s great honestly to have that target on our back,” said Lobos forward Jadyn Edwards. “I think we do really well under pressure.”
The Lobos finished as Mountain West champions behind an 11-2-1 record last season. They also made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Lobos will play Ft. Lewis in an exhibition match Monday at 7:30 p.m.
In other sports news, Luke Wysong is making an effort to get some playing time with the Lobo football team as a freshman. The former Cleveland High multi-sport athlete and reigning Gatorade New Mexico Football Player of the Year have caught the attention of coaches during Lobos fall football camp.
Football players at Valley High School will get plenty of playing time. Head Coach Judge Chavez is dealing with low numbers with only about 30 players in the program. It appears to be a trend this season. “I’ve talked to other coaches around town, numbers are bad everywhere,” said Chavez. “I think there are five or six teams that are not going to have a JV team. I heard one school only had 17 kids out, one only had 14 kids out. So, I don’t know if people don’t want to play football anymore or, you know, this pandemic still causing issues with kids wanting to play, parents not letting kids to play.”
Valley will open the season on Aug. 19 against the Sandia Matadors.